An estimated 34.8 million people participated in #GivingTuesday this year, which would be a 29% increase compared to 2019. Twelve countries participated as official national GivingTuesday movements for the first time on GivingTuesday 2020: Chile, Ghana, Guam, Ireland, Lebanon, Nigeria, Paraguay, Philippines, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Korea, and Turkey.
The fundraising totals are in addition to the more than $503 million in online donations contributed in the U.S. on #GivingTuesdayNow on May 5, in response to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). The Data Commons comparable 2020 number to the $511 million in estimated online giving during the 2019 #GivingTuesday is $808 million, up 58%.
Facebook attributed $135 million in donations over the two weeks leading up to #GivingTuesday on Dec. 1. Other platforms reporting donations included DonorPerfect, $55 million; Classy, $37.9 million; Neon One, $16.3 million, and GiveCampus, $12.5 million.
“This groundswell of giving reaffirms that generosity is universal and powerful, and that it acts as an antidote to fear, division, and isolation,” Asha Curran, co-founder and CEO of GivingTuesday, said via a statement announcing the results. “Throughout this year, we have seen people driving extraordinary efforts rooted in a pursuit of equity, community, and shared humanity — driving giving and action across all races, faiths and political views. We know that when we act collectively — what we can, with what we have, from where we are — we can make massive change happen. Now, let’s resolve to carry this energy forward to reimagine a world where generosity is at the heart of all we do,” she said.
#GivingTuesday was created in 2012 as a day that encouraged people to do good and has become a “global generosity movement with a distributed network of entrepreneurial leaders” who have launched more than 240 community campaigns across the U.S. and national movements in more than 70 countries.
Fifty new data platforms were on-boarded into the GivingTuesday Data Commons.
Charities hosted activities and fundraisers large and small for #GivingTuesday including:
- The Game Theory $1-million Challenge for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital crushed last year’s record on its way to raising $3 million during a nine-hour charity stream on #GivingTuesday. The second annual livestream, hosted by MatPat and Stephanie Patrick, is one of the largest charitable YouTube collaborations with a collective audience of nearly 300 million subscribers. A bevy of the most popular content creators on YouTube made appearances throughout the livestream.
- The Connie Maxwell Children’s Home far surpassed its $100,000 goal, which was double what it raised during 2019. The Greenwood, S.C.-based charity raised more than $227,800 from 277 donors on #GivingTuesday. Some two dozen fundraiser pages for teams and individuals received almost 300 donations totaling almost $100,000.
- Celebrities are often a popular fundraising tactic. Actress Candace Cameron Bure read her children’s book, “Candace’s Playful Puppy,” during an Instagram Live for The Salvation Army, raising more than $40,000 in the process. The Salvation Army of Greater New York also unveiled a giant red kettle in Times Square on #GivingTuesday, which will travel around Manhattan through December. The kettle features a QR code where people can digitally “drop a dollar.” The Salvation Army anticipates as much as a $60-million deficit in red kettles this year because of COVID-19. Early data from The Salvation Army shows online donations show a “significant” year-over-year increase in October and November digital donations across the country, according to a spokesperson.
- The American Museum of Natural History in New York City raised $2,225 from 43 people, reaching a $2,000 goal for its Facebook Fundraiser. “The COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting economic consequences have left the museum with a significant financial challenge. Your gift this Giving Tuesday will help the museum at a time when the world needs science more than ever,” according to the museum’s Facebook Fundraiser post. “Even when our doors were closed, the museum continued to provide online educational resources to audiences around the world and to conduct scientific research — including on the evolution and spread of COVID-19. With our doors open again, the museum still faces exceptional financial challenges, but we remain dedicated to serving our many audiences onsite and online.”
While cash is often king, the stories of community activity might be the real story, as #GivingTuesday evolves from a fundraising-centric event to a more holistic, international approach to redefine philanthropy. The #GivingTuesday Spark youth communities gave soothing blankets to trauma victims and separately arranged for toys in Brooklyn.
There were free busses in Liberia to get essential workers downtown and food programs in the Philippines where there were people fed who had not eaten in days as well as masks and face shields handed out for free.